As a child, we lived in Topeka Kansas for a short period, in what was known as Tornado Alley. I distinctly remember funnels dropping out of the clouds and taking out rooftops of neighboring homes. The weather would calm and the skies would become emblazon with green. When that happened, my Dad would always take us to the basement. I have vivid memories of trying to gather up our very nervous miniature schnauzer, Sparky, who would always choose to crawl under a bed and our wild cat, Squirrely. Somehow, we managed and always had a few scratches as proof.
When I relocated to the south, I didn’t fear tornado weather. I learned that was a leviathan mistake. My first southern tornado experience was in Nashville. A tornado was headed straight towards my home. I had not taken it seriously due to the deluge of rain. That is when I learned that tornados can be rain wrapped. You won’t see them coming. Thankfully, we were safe but I learned a lesson. Know your area and what to expect. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Tornadoes
The majority of Huntsville homeowners don’t have basements or shelters to run to.
In a home or apartment with no basement, go to your ground floor and into a small room in the CENTER of your home. Bathrooms and closets are typically recommended. Under a stairway or into an interior hall with no windows. Bathtubs are another option. Remember to cover yourself and don’t forget about falling debris!
*Have a plan for your family and a pre-determined place to meet after a disaster.
*Flying debris is the most dangerous. Please be sure you have plenty of blankets or a mattress to put over you and your family. Grab your bicycle helmets and put them on!
If you are on medication, take them with you! Remember to grab your cell phone chargers, purses, etc.
For more tips, this is a great link: http://www.ready.gov/tornadoes
If you have pets, don’t forget to keep them safe as well. Keep them on a leash or in their crates in a safe area with you! Here are more tips for our furry family members.
I would suggest downloading a weather app. Here is a list for the Huntsville area.
Please don’t play chicken when the sirens sound. Many of us witnessed the loss and devastation from the April 27, 2011 tornado. It was a miracle that more lives weren’t lost.
Stay safe my friends. God forbid we have a replay of April 27. If we do, we’ll be here to help. We are prepared and ready. Call us…we’ll be there to help anyway that we can. 256-585-6000. We promise.
(I purposely chose not to use photos from our past tornados out of respect to those whose lives were affected)